Why Re-Invent Innovation?

Innovation and creativity aren’t what they used to be.

For starters, the radical transformations — technological, economic, social, cultural, political, et al. — that are re-shaping our world also are re-defining the processes by which innovation and creativity are expressed.

Consider, for example, the changes in today’s research and development that are described by Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias.

As the former director of Bell Labs’ legendary R&D operations has pointed out, the 1990s witnessed the creation of a dense, sophisticated web of new-venture-enabling infrastructures that played a key role in triggering that decade’s explosion of dot-com innovation.

In effect, the VCs in Silicon Valley (and elsewhere) helped invent a “new-business assembly-line” that has enabled the unprecedented mass-production of high-tech innovation.

This, in turn, has unleashed a tsunami of “Industrial-Strength Creative Destruction” that has washed across virtually every part of the world…and this encounter with “Schumpeter on Steroids” has brought change and transformation into every nook and cranny of the planet.

But it is more than just the processes of innovation and creativity that are changing.

If you look back to the first half of the 20th century, you can see that the industrialization and mass-production of manufactured goods began to radically change not only the quantity of those goods, but also the nature of the goods that were produced and the roles that those products played in our lives.

In an analogous sense, the new “mass-production of innovation and creativity” has important implications for the nature of and the role that these crucial activities play in our lives.

And, to bring it down to the bottom line:
The time has come to re-invent innovation.

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